On-demand job app GoGet has built a community of gig workers who are essential to businesses big and small
FRANCESCA Chia has fast earned a name for herself as an entrepreneur with heart and vision. Chosen as a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader in 2021, she co-founded digital platform GoGet, which has been steadily empowering the gig economy and creating new job opportunities in Malaysia, with a wider vision to expand across South-East Asia.
In true Malaysian fashion, the 34-year-old former management consultant from KL shares that it was a love for food that first kickstarted the idea for establishing GoGet back in 2014.
“A group of us were sitting together talking about the pervasiveness of mobile technology. Smartphones were getting progressively more affordable and had found their way into everyone's hands.
“We thought that with this new technology, we could communicate with just about anyone in the city. Say if we needed help picking up our favourite nasi lemak but we were really busy at work, we could just ask someone in the vicinity to do it for us,” she says.
They soon realised that they didn’t have to limit themselves to just food.
“We could expand to just about anything. By connecting the city on an open platform, people could request anything from rides to getting errands done. All of this could be crowdsourced with a simple mobile app in your pocket. We felt this would be a great way to build up the community as well as create jobs,” Chia says.
Today, Chia is CEO of GoGet, which is recognised as a leading and trusted community platform for reliable and skilled part-time help and allows businesses to scale quickly without incurring full-time operational costs.
GoGet is also the winner of the UN Capital Development Fund’s Accelerator Programme because it promotes financial inclusion through its ecosystem, which ensures users in the gig economy are protected and enjoy similar benefits to full time workers.
Indeed, during the last couple of difficult pandemic years when employers were forced to cut costs and employees were left jobless, GoGet offered a timely solution for many.
“The pandemic really posed a lot of challenges. One of the critical ones for us was how to scale our technology because we were one of the few relevant industry players that were able to operate during the lockdown,” Chia says.
“Our service helped businesses and individuals run errands even when they were stuck at home. We were able to help a lot of Malaysians – from shopping to delivering food – during the lockdown.”
Creating these opportunities for gig work also directly benefited the B40 segment, enabling them to secure a flexible income during these turbulent times. GoGet also has a long-standing partnership with MDEC and is committed to training and providing incentives to active GoGetters. So, it's no wonder then that there are over 13,500 GoGetters!
“We have mostly part-timers,” Chia shares. “They all share the same kind of nature in terms of wanting to connect in a community and use their extra time in exchange for some extra cash. Profiles range from students to part-time yoga instructors, retirees and even full-time nine-to-five people who need to supplement their income by working on the weekends.”
GoGet's website proudly states that it empowers the community to achieve greater productivity and connectivity in everyday work.
And there are numerous testimonials from GoGetters to suggest this, among the many:
● “Formerly in the corporate sector, being a GoGetter is a breath of fresh air for me due to the flexibility and ability to earn extra income.”
● “I am pursuing my actuarial science degree and joined GoGet to earn in my free time.”
● “My favourite jobs on GoGet are food and shopping jobs. Being a personal shopper helps me improve my communication skills.”
Retiree Soo Ngoh Choy is in her seventh year of retirement and has had over 395 jobs with GoGet, while stay-at-home mum Cheryl Ong can take on jobs and look after her kids.
It is relatively easy to become a GoGetter. All you need is a smartphone, a data plan, the GoGet app, and of course, you must be 18 years old and above. Then just scroll the app. If you see a job you like on the app, you can accept it and get connected instantly, then get paid when the job is done. You will then have a running statement in your app to see what your financial statements look like as an income earner on GoGet.
GoGet is predominantly a B2B business, Chia explains. "We connect a verified network of people to businesses who need part-timers at no fixed cost. So, the kind of target clients that we have ranged from MNCs and large companies to SMEs."
Crunching the numbers with Xero
GoGet has over 2,500 businesses signed up to their network, mainly in F&B, retail and events in KL, Penang and Johor Baru. Some of the largest companies in Malaysia use GoGet to save costs and increase productivity, including Petronas, Tune Talk, Celcom, Zalora and Lazada.
Chia explains that GoGet covers four main types of work: logistics, sales and marketing, administration and operations.
“For very large companies, we are typically their support during peak periods so when Lazada does its 11/11 sale, for example, it will use our GoGetters for support in its warehouses as packers.
“As for SMEs, we are there for them every day. They would use GoGetters to send flowers, pick up supplies, or even be pickers and packers of flowers in their store.”
With so many GoGetters and clients to deal with, balancing the accounts is no piece of cake. Chia shares that this is one of the main reasons GoGet turned to cloud accounting platform Xero to manage the exponentially growing volume of accounting work as well as simplify its business tasks.
“Because we are a tech platform, the type of transactions that we have are large scale and they happen every day, in real time.
“It’s not just dealing with a few key clients and invoices. We work with millions of rows of data every month, and there's no way a manual system would be able to handle it effectively.
“We needed something robust and scalable, and Xero has been a great solution. It is so much more seamless than running everything on Excel,” she says.
Chia is incredibly grateful for the features Xero offers: First is how Xero is set up – that is, connected to your bank account either directly or through a third-party solution, with bank feeds. Transactions then flow securely straight into Xero each business day. For banks that are not connected directly with Xero, customers can use Yodlee to import all transactions automatically into their Xero app.
“We’re able to have a view of our bank account and categorise transactions into all the necessary account codes automatically. This is probably the feature we use most to make sure we close our books on time with accurate data,” says Chia, adding that the typical invoicing features, payment vouchers and quotation features also come in handy and are user friendly.
One of the biggest gains Chia has observed is the amount of time saved. “It used to take me weeks to close the accounts, but the whole process happens in days now!”
Automating tasks and accessing client records at any time has also become a cinch.
“My sales team doesn’t need to manually issue invoices anymore. Instead, we can easily just set the client's name, regenerate, and send a new invoice. That’s at least 15 minutes of time saved each time, each invoice. In a month, you end up saving hours.”
But it’s not just about making work a lot easier. Chia says that GoGet’s larger vision is to empower the 270-million marginally skilled population in the Asean region to have a trusted and safe solution to find jobs.
And she is confident that with Xero’s support and commitment, GoGet will be able to concentrate its time and efforts on building a trustworthy and sustainable business.
“Xero has allowed us to build and sustain a healthy business model, to know our numbers in terms of costs as well as revenue, and confidently make strategic decisions and grow in the right places,” she says.
“These are vital for us to reach our vision. Xero empowers us with data and enables us to make decisions at a faster rate. That has a huge impact on how we grow as a company."
For more information about Xero, click here.